A Message from EQUS CEO, Andy Metzger
EQUS Office Closures - November 26, 2020
IMPORTANT NOTICE: As part of our efforts to keep EQUS employees, members, and our communities safe and healthy, all EQUS offices will be closed to visitors for the time being. In accordance with the current recommendations from provincial health authorities, many EQUS office staff will be working from home. This working arrangement helps ensure the safety of both office and field staff, and ensures we are able to continue providing the reliable services our members depend on without disruption.
EQUS is committed to continuing to provide the high standard of service that we always do for our members and our communities and we are also committed to doing our part to slow the spread of the virus in our communities.
While EQUS offices are not currently accepting guests due to the limited staff in our offices, EQUS staff are available and continue working to support our members. We are continuing with all scheduled maintenance and construction work at this time with additional safety measures in place. There will be no impact to the services provided or to outage restoration times as a result.
The team at EQUS is monitoring the situation and meeting regularly to ensure that we are responding to the most current health and safety recommendations from our government health authorities. We appreciate the patience and understanding of our members and communities as we navigate these tricky times.
EQUS staff will be happy to provide assistance over the phone to meet the needs of our members and our community, business and government stakeholders. EQUS offices can accept visitors by appointment when necessary. To make an appointment contact your EQUS Area Office.
COVID-19 Community Sponsorships
One of EQUS’ core values is community, and in living this value, EQUS endeavors to support our members and the rural communities we serve through various programs and initiatives. In a normal year, this support would be in the form of sponsorship for community events, fundraisers, and Operation Round Up support for youth and seniors. So far, 2020 is looking to be a bit different.
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on non-profit and community groups will likely be felt over the months to come as the need for community-based support increases, while fundraising events that many non-profit groups rely on, have to be cancelled. To help support our rural communities, EQUS will be dedicating sponsorship funds to community organizations working to provide resources and support directly related to COVID-19.
EQUS will be looking to support those who are assisting seniors and vulnerable community members, schools, students and their families, local food banks and other organizations providing services to meet basic needs at a community level, and more. Building strong rural communities is important, and we believe that providing support to local organizations is a key factor in developing resilient communities. EQUS' normal Sponsorship and Donation program and Operation Round Up continue to accept applications for programs and initiatives not related to COVID-19 as well.
Information about Utility Bill Deferral Programs - Program Closed
Earlier this year, the Government of Alberta announced a series of financial supports for Albertans affected by COVID-19 including the option to defer utility bill payments for 90 days (March 18 - June 18, 2020) for those who qualify. This program was available to Albertans who were experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of COVID-19.
It is important to note that this program does not pay for any costs of utility bills on your behalf, it simply defers them, with the outstanding balance due in full June 18, 2021.
As a co-operative, EQUS believes in the value of neighbours helping neighbours, especially in tough times such as these. Our co-operative was built in this spirit and we will continue to provide sustainable and flexible support to our members through this outbreak.
EQUS is committed to working with members who may require help during this time, and to ensuring that we minimize the impact to our co-operative as a whole. We will work with those members who require support to develop suitable payment arrangements, and to connect them with other applicable supports through existing programs like Alberta Works.
EQUS will ensure that the lights stay on in rural Alberta and ensure that we support the collective sustainability of co-operative electricity distribution for all EQUS members.
EQUS members seeking more information about payment arrangements or the deferral program can call their Member Service Administrator at 1.888.211.4011.